Dios de los Muertos- Inspirations & Offerings

First Off.. the Big News…

Our Brand New Catalyst Airship Mobile Fantasy Makeup & Photo Studio will be rolling into the San Francisco Mission district this Sunday November 2nd and parking at 21st & Bryant street in front of Asiento Bar & 1 block from the start of the parade.

4 Professional ‘Become the Art’ Face Painters/Airbrush Artists will paint Sugar Skulls on folks who want to get into the spirit of the celebration and join in the parade.
>> Airship captain & Human Décor Artist Audette Sophia will be joined by MUA Gavi Pena, Airbrush Artist Icarus Zaure, and Face Painter Cynnamon Simonson.

Also Announcing our first of many videos on the Become the Art Youtube Channel– a Sugar Skull Face Paint Time Lapse.

We also highly suggest you go and see the animated movie BOOK OF LIFE- which is a funny love story and positive message filled story that also educates you about Day of the Dead.

And here are some beautiful inspiring images of Art & Costumes from Day of the Dead.

Paper & Plastic Day of the Dead Costume in Mexico… very creative!


Swimming Mermaid at Splash After Dark- Wine Country Pool Party

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in partnership with 7×7 Magazine, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset & Buena Vista Winery has designed Wine Country’s hottest summer pool party series.
And Catalyst Arts is providing some novelty entertainment for them!

On August 14th Catalyst Arts was asked to provide a Swimming mermaid for this buzzing Pool Party at The Fairmont  in Sonoma, CA.

We brought the lovely Mermaid Atlantis who instantly mesmerized the guests.

The talented photographer Gustavo Fernandez captured some great shots including the ones featured below. Full Gallery of his images can be found at:

(Thanks to Gustavo Fernandez for above photos)

Our client (the manager of catering & events) said “Thank you so much for an great event last week, the mermaid was a splashing success and addition to the event.

They have asked us back to provide some Light Up Entertainment for the next Splash Pool Party on September 25th.

2 sexy dancers will illuminate the party with some light up glow dances and a also do a special fire dance set!

So we hope to see you poolside September 25th!

The Event Link is here-


Wonderland themed Face Paint at Nightclub

On June 7th Catalyst Arts own face paint maestro- Audette Sophia got a very interesting gig. Fellow fantasy makeup artist Chrysalis Rose asked if she could cover a gig at Taste Nightclub in Santa Clara… painting the staff for a Wonderland themed club night.

A great challenge and a very wide open theme– here are some of the results. 🙂


Check out this Monthly Party at Taste Nightclub!

This is a great use for our Human Decor Artists… get your staff and talent embodying the event theme and setting the tone for the night!



March Recap- 3 lg. Eventertainment Packages in 1 month!

This Year of the Horse is off to quite the gallop with Catalyst Arts producing 3 large Eventertainment Packages in March!


A local Montessori school threw a 20’s themed soiree at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland on March 8th.
Catalyst Arts was brought in to provide some flapper showgirls to greet guests with a glass of bubbly and to add some pizaaz to the auction, a fabulous Become the Art Photo Studio, and some swing dancers to get the dance portion of the night swinging!


This Sea themed event was held at the Aquarium at California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Catalyst Arts had a Mermaid Tray lady greeting guests and distributing glow sticks, 2 aquatic Airbrush artists doing sea themed tattoos & face paint, a Contortionist, and a UV Black light Seahorse cart with roller skating jellyfish dancers! Click Here to to see all the Images!


We produced an incredibly customized entertainment package for this event on Treasure Island with custom costumes and characters and our package included: Contortionist Twins, Aerialist, Shadow Dancers, 4 Antoinette characters, Black Light Antoinette dancers, and a Light up Stilt Walker.
Image Gallery here



2013 has been a very exciting year for Catalyst Arts and before we dive into 2014 I wanted to hold up a handful of highlights.

We did a few high profile FIRE DANCE SHOWS this year- and the Client Appreciation Party we performed at The Phoenix Hotel in S.F. captured our fire dancers in this fab Video-

Our LIVING TABLES made appearances at a winery in Napa, at a corporate party at San Francisco City Hall, and at a Holiday party at Academy of Sciences.

Our Signature one-of-a-kind ‘LOVE DOVE’ Character got to do her thing at 2 wedding celebrations this year. She collected guests blessings on laser cut feathers as a part of a 4 entertainer Wedding Package at Viaggio Winery in June, and also at a Gatsby themed wedding reception in November.

Love Dove unique interactive wedding entertainment by Catalyst Arts


Our Founding director Audette Sophia attended the World Body Painting Festival in Austria and was honored twice for her Face/Body Paint Skills– receiving ‘Best Makeup Artist of the Year‘ Nomination from Raw Artists, and being featured at ‘Best Stilt Walking People Painter in the June ‘Best Of’ Issue of The SF WEEKLY!
This Fall we got to add our Entertainment to 2 Classy GALAS- The SF Opera Ball and The Green Gatsby Gala.
The Opera Ball had a Garden of Good & Evil theme and we had 4 Body Painted performers that blended into the Decor and came alive to do contortion. We had 2 golden butterfly stilt walkers and a Fire dance performance on Van Ness ave.! It was certainly a night to be remembered. Click on the link to see the Video!

And Speaking of Balls… We had a great time at Francis Ford Coppola’s MASQUERADE BALL in October. Gallery on our Facebook Page.
They also brought us back for a 2nd year of providing entertainment for their festive Circus themed VENDEMIA Celebration– this year was 8 entertainers and you can see more here.

And we ended 2013 with a big splash by representing at 4 Large NEW YEARS EVE PARTIES!!
Entire Productions had us send strolling servers to a large private party, and we had 2 Interactive Arts zones and a handful of strolling entertainers at Sea of Dreams, and we had our 5th year in a row sending multiple stilt walkers to Westin st. Francis for the A LIST ‘Passport to the World’ party, and this year we also sent 8 entertainers to the Fairmont Hotel for the Cirque themed party. (see below)

The most exciting thing of all is in production and will be making an appearance early Spring 2014… For now I will just give you a hint that it is large and silver.



Raw Awards Events Show- SF Makeup artist of the year

Catalyst Arts founder Audette Sophia was nominated for the SF Area ‘Makeup Artist of the Year’ Award by RAW:natural born artists, which is an international independent arts organization that hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair & makeup artistry, photography, models and performing art.

The Awards Showcase event took place Dec. 5th at 1015 Folsom nightclub in San Francisco.
Both runner up artists decorated one model and displayed them on the catwalk.


Audette was the runner up and The Winner was Jason Henricks who did a cool special effects type design on his model. His profile can be found here-

Congrats to him and THANKS to Raw for the recognition!


Sources of Inspiration! 15 of em…


There are many Wells of Inspiration available to us at any given time. When I refer to Inspiration, I mean the state of mind that can lead to great art, and also to that feeling that makes one want to commit to living their life as a work of Art. Not only a means to an ends but a goal unto itself- to live an Inspired Life! To support that noble goal I have gathered together this list of 15 places that you may go when you could use a dip in Inspiration’s Well.


Get out of the house and out of your head. Go for a walk in a park, or better yet go hiking in a wild place. Sit or lay under a tree and contemplate it for 30 minutes. Sit at the ocean or on a mountain or in a garden and let yourself be reminded of the vast scale and intricate intelligence of these beautiful ecosystems. Nature is a great source of renewal, calm, beauty, and inspiration. I have found the most simple and profound universal laws so eloquently embodied and expressed through nature. Not to mention the beauty, geometry, color, patterns…


Whatever your current mood or state of mind, you can prescribe yourself music that will help. Uplifting if you are down, emotive if you need to wallow in it a bit, powerful if you are gearing up to take on the world… Look for singer/songwriters who have a quirky, profound and unique way of seeing life and let their perspectives enrich your own. Bored of your own music collection? Then ask your friends (the ones with good taste) to burn you a couple of CD’s, and reciprocate the favor. Use free tools like Spotify and  Pandora.com to show you music similar to what you know you like. Bounce around on cdbabay.com or MySpace or Itunes and add new elements to your musical apothecary.


Chances are you have some gems sitting in your shelves gathering dust. Try closing your eyes and pointing to 1 book at random and reading excerpts from it. Scan your bookshelf for titles that ‘jump out’ at you at any given time. Need new books? Do the above at your good friends bookshelf and ask to borrow the jumpiest ones.
Coffee table photo books and Poetry Compilations are great places to get quick snippets of beautiful images or words to touch you.

4.) ONLINE VIDEOS- Vimeo & Youtube

Write a list of 3 things you have always wanted to know more about or see more of. Now go onto youtube.com and type in these words or phrases. I am not a big tv watcher and have been known to lose a couple hours geeking out on YouTube watching videos about obscure interests like asian fan dancing and body percussion. I encourage you to do the same and you can make a free account and add the gems of your search onto your favorites so that you have a customized gallery of inspiring videos on call at any time.


The words carved in stone at the entrance of the great Oracle of Delphi said “Know Thyself”. Our lives these days are so cluttered with media, communication, opinions and information. It can easily lead to a state of overwhelmed over-stimulation, which can be hard on our nervous systems and our creativity. It is hard to hear the voice of the muse amongst all the clammer and static. It is very healthy to practice shutting out the worlds input and listening to your own. This turning in can be achieved in many ways. Some recommended methods include meditation, journal writing, a fast from speaking, or a self-reflection retreat. Though I did have a consistent mediation practice in one chapter of my life, my all time favorite most trusted self-reflection tool is journal writing. Whatever I am going through, I can clarify, process and explore it in the ripe space between me and the page. I could write a hundred testimonials about the great merits of journal writing. Experiment and find the methods that work for you to  cultivate and deepen the connection to your inner voice, your essential self.


Watch movies that take place in the time period that most inspires you. Write down what it is about that time that you love and how you can bring more of its qualities into your life. Watch movies from other cultures, independent films, and anything soul searching or epic. If there is a character that you are inspired by, reflect on what exactly it is about them and how you can strengthen those qualities in yourself.


The most epic and inspiring artists in the world have left gems for you in a giant web (known as the internet). When you have the time, let yourself follow the golden thread (of your own intrigue) through the maze of the  web. Start by typing in some word or phrase that seems compelling to you in the moment and see what interesting places your key words take you. Keep following the thread of inspiration and keep a sticky note or word document or evernote open to pull url’s, quotes, or ideas from off the sites you find. That way if you stumble upon treasure, you can mark it on a map so you can return to it next time you are in need of an Inspiration treasure hunt. You can go blog hopping or Google images hopping or get lost in the albums on Pinterest and log many an inspired hour finding endless images and sites to inspire your artistry. (then don’t forget to give some/any expression to the inspiration you gathered.)


It can be incredibly motivating and inspiring to see someone who has made great achievements in a art/path/career that you aspire to. No matter how quirky your calling, there is a small or large handful of people out their with a similar calling who are some decades ahead of you. With the internet it is now much easier to track these human beacons down. I have a word file called “Role Models” and in it I clip a bio, summary, and web site of anyone who’s career I find myself jealous of.  When I go through a phase of amnesia about my life work, I look at these files and these living examples help remind me what is worth working for. If you are very lucky, you may get to have a personal relationship with one of these role models, which could become an apprenticeship or mentorship. If you have that kind of relationship, make sure to cherish it and find ways of feeding it. Dead, alive, accessible or virtual, role models can serve as a sort of measuring stick to hold yourself against to inspire you to grow to greater heights.


I have kept a journal since I was only 8 years old. On rare occasions I go into my cherishables box and read over my thoughts and captured memories from my childhood. But more often than that, I will glaze over my more recent journals, and mine them for their treasures. It can be insightful and inspiring to relive past joys and to see the connecting threads that run through the years. What has been compelling to you throughout the various phases of your life? Where have you changed and where have you remained much the same? Unlike skimming through other people’s writings in search for inspiration, going through your own will bring you to content that is insightfully reflective of you in your uniqueness. If you don’t have journals, you can lay down in a hammock with a little digital audio recorder and scan your memories for experiences and stories that stand out. Be sure to capture the lessons you learned, so that you (and possibly someone else) will benefit from your experiential wisdom down the road.


Regardless of the form or depth of your spiritual beliefs, they can be a source of comfort and inspiration. If you belong to a religion and church, get more involved in the church and in reading the texts sacred to it. If you are open to different traditions, then delve into some study of the words of devotion and faith in different cultures. Mystical poetry, (such as Hafiz, Rumi, Mirabai, Goethe, etc…), psalms, spiritual novels, and devotional song books can all provide a nice taste of spiritual inspiration. Reading about or listening to people who have devoted their lives to service of God/Creator/Spirit can give us a perspective that can uplift our own motivations and aspirations. Wherever you feel closest to the sacred, go to that experience and use the energy you find there to fuel your work in the world.


Collect and acquire as many magazines as you can. Pick a rainy or uninspired day and go through them seeking any image that strikes your fancy. Immediately cut out anything that strikes you in any way and gather a nice big pile. Once you have extracted the juice from your magz, recycle the husk and create a nice file or large envelope for your chosen images. Play with arranging them into relationship on paper or on a chair or table or chest. When you have found a compelling arrangement, get out the glue and viola- you have a collage. You can make a themed collage, such as one for healing or for reminding you of a specific goal, sort of a visual affirmation. You can also make a vision board that includes words and images representing your key goals for the year, and you will be amazed by the manifestation power of clearly identifying what you want and regularly anchoring it in your consciousness.  Place these creations in a highly visible place where you know you will take in their symbolic messages often.


There are these magical buildings in almost every town where the fruits of the best intellects and imaginations of multiple eras is available for free. In the last couple years I rediscovered how awesome libraries really are. Your local library is not just a great source of books on almost any topic imaginable, (who’s merits I already covered in #3) but also of magazines, periodicals, very cool oversized reference books, and often cd’s and dvd’s. Not all libraries are created equal, so I seek out the ones that do actually inspire me. The quiet is also very peaceful and makes for a good sanctuary for getting research and work done. The first month of writing my poetry book I would go to the best library in my county and force myself to focus on the book for at least an hour. (that sounds like nothing, I know, but at that time my one pointed focus muscle was so flabby that 1 hour was considered an achievement) If you find yourself suddenly compelled by some left field topic, you can go to the library and borrow some books on it. Like a search engine but more tangible, and cheaper than an amazon.com addiction, believe me.


You can get an easy inspiration boost by letting your mind dwell on the “greats” of your art form(s). Seek to be reminded of those who have reached great heights of acclaim and achievement with their skill . If you had a class that did this in the past, track down the textbook or syllabus and re-familiarize yourself. If you have never gone on a quest to expose yourself to the masters of their/your craft, I recommend it. Be careful though, because sometimes looking up to “experts” and “masters” can lead to looking down on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for being where you are. Do get inspired by where you can be by examples from where others have gone.


Give yourself the treat of going out for a night at the theater, or to a dance performance. There is something about sitting in a theater witnessing live acting or dancing that t.v. and even movies don’t compare to. Dance and theater companies work very hard and could use your support. Keep your eye out for interesting live performances coming through your area. Dress up and bring a date or great friend. Chat about it afterwards in a late night café and make a night of it.


When you do have a lot of great inspiring ideas- write them down! If you have too many to reasonably keep track of (like me) put them in an Idea Book. Collect your snippets into files.  I highly recommend that you make at least 2 files labeled Inspiration- one on your computer and one on your desk. Then anytime an image or article or news online or in a magazine strikes your fancy, you have the perfect place to put it. Then on the days when you really need it, you have your very own personalized well of inspiration to dip into. In fact, you can add this article to your inspiration file and pull out my tips at a time when you could use some ideas of where to get your mojo back. I use Pinterest and Evernote for more visual cataloging of sites and things that inspire me.

If you have other sources/ideas… please leave them in the comments!

By Audette Sophia in 2009 and edited a bit just now in 2013.
Article Source:

Francis Ford Coppola Event- video & synopsis


We had a fabulously successful event in September for Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
Their Vendemia (grape harvest in Italian) Event was a Coney Island Circus inspired soiree for their wine club members.

The Catalyst Arts Eventertainment Package Included:

2 Stilt Walkers, 1 Mime, A unicycling Juggler, 2 Guest Decorator Tray Ladies, A Become the Art Photo Studio,  A fortune teller, A contortionist, and a Fire Dance Show with 6 dancers.

See the Video Here-

  See the NEWS about it here from the Coppola Web Site

Great Simple Career Direction Exercise

Easy way to explore new career directions– target potential future jobs, etc…

In doing market  and industry research for a business training I am currently taking, I stumbled upon a simple but profound exercise.

If you are curious about or actively exploring other career paths or job directions, this is a fast simple way of narrowing it down to some more specific targets.

Here it is:

1.) Type into search engine something like “list of events related job titles” but fill in the industry you are interested in. “marketing job titles” etc… Find a good list and paste all the job titles into a word document.

2.) Now go through them all and put a start or two stars next to the ones that sound appealing to you.

3.) Compile all of these that got stars into one place and look them over in more detail. The ones that seem like the best fit you can now research deeper and start pursuing.

NOTE- After you gather as much info as the web will give you, the next step before applying for education or internships or jobs is to do an Informational Interview with someone currently holding this position. This can save you a lot of wasted time and resources.


Here is a great site with titles and descriptions of Creative, Marketing, and Communications jobs.

– List of all Industries- ‘Industries at a Glance’

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Includes stats on the hourly pay, amount of employees, unemployed, etc… in that field.

Tips to Power your New Years Resolutions

New Years resolutions are a great tradition, but have started to become more associated with wishful thinking than with serious goal setting.
Because we say I want to do more of this and less of that and then hope that because we wrote it down it will magically happen…

After many years of doing resolutions, I have gathered and developed a few tips and tools to help give some legs to those intentions so that they can walk out of January and into the rest of the year.

1.) WRITE IT DOWN- & put someplace visible.
It is not enough to write down your goals and hopes and dreams in your journal. That is a great start. It is best to use your notebook or journal to process and get to clarity, but once you are clear, put it down on a nice sheet of paper that you can hang someplace highly visible. Then you will have a reminder of your resolutions or goals in your space making it less likely for them to fade from memory.

2.) BREAK IT DOWN into small chunks that can actually be tackled.
This can be done in a linear way by making a list of small items beneath the big one, or you can also do this by mind mapping. Put the Resolution in the middle and brainstorm all the connected bits and branch them off of it.


Using one of my resolutions as an example– I want to revive my ‘morning practice’, which means 20+ minutes first thing in the morning for writing, meditating, yoga, or some other centering non mental activity. So I write 1/1, 1/2 etc… down the left side of a page in my notebook and then the intention at the top and then make boxes where I can check the box on the day that I did the morning practice. This way, at the end of the month I can see exactly how many days I realized my intention and how many I did not. This visible accountability is an extra band of incentive… and you can always give yourself some reward if you hit 20 out of 30 days.


If you are the only one that knows that you only exercised 1 day this week despite the goal to exercise 5 days, well… but if you have someone who you check in with and who will want to know why your results were weak this week… this simple accountability is incredibly powerful. This is one of the main reasons people hire life coaches… to have someone who knows what you are intending to do and who will hold you accountable. If you can’t afford a coach right now, then find a friend who could use support with their resolutions and schedule a weekly call to share your progress and get support through resistance or obstacles that inhibit progress.

In Summary:
Get those intentions for 2011 onto the page, broken down into their components, put onto a simple grid, and find a buddy to check in with on your progress.


Catalyst Arts Entertainment